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Court Discusses Provisions of Mental Hygiene Law


The state of New York is the petitioner in this case. The case is being heard in the Supreme Court of Bronx County. The New York State Attorney General filed a petition stating that the respondent is a detained sex offender who requires civil management according to the Mental Hygiene Law, article 10.

Case Background

A New York Criminal Lawyer said the respondent pleaded guilty to sexual abuse in the first degree on the 31st of January, 2001. He was sentenced on the 2nd of March, 2001 to a term of five years incarceration in a state prison. His sentence included five years of probation after his release from prison.

The two victims of the case were seven and eleven years old. The respondent’s sexual abuse of the seven year old included anal rape and sodomy and the abuse of the eleven year old included fondling the child’s breasts and genital area.

The respondent was released from prison on the 17th of June, 2005. In 2006, the Division of Parole reported that the respondent had violated a condition of his parole when he left the state of New York without permission. As a result, a New York Criminal Lawyer said his parole was revoked and he was returned to prison for the remainder of his post release term. His set release date was approximately the 23rd of January, 2011.

The State filed the petition on the 14th of January, 2011 claiming that the respondent was a detained sex offender requiring civil management. A probable cause hearing was held in this matter on the 26th of May, 2011. At the hearing, Dr. Katrina Colistra testified on behalf of the State. Dr. Colistra contends that the respondent suffers from a mental abnormality and that he should be subject to the civil management provisions as described in Article 10 of the Mental Hygiene Law.

Court Discussion and Decision

The testimony provided by Dr. Colistra shows that the respondent suffers from pedophilia and an antisocial personality. She states that these conditions predispose him to commit sexual offenses. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer also said he also testified that these disorders affect his emotional, cognitive, and volitional capacity in such a way to predispose him to commit sexual acts against young girls.

The opinion of Dr. Colistra is based on an extensive analysis of the respondent. This includes his history of sexual and nonsexual offenses, his history of sex offender treatment, his mental health reacords, his DOCS records, and her own interview with the respondent.

Based on the credible history that has been provided by the State, the Court has reason to believe probable cause exists to believe that the respondent suffers from a mental abnormality and as a result poses a threat to the community. It is believed that if the respondent were released he would pose a threat to the community if he was left without supervision.

The Mental Hygiene law requires that if a court finds probable cause to believe that a person is a sex offender that requires civil management that the court must order the person to be committed to a secure treatment facility pending the outcome of an Article 10 proceeding. A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said the court has determined the respondent poses a potential threat to society and for this reason a pre-trial commitment hearing will be scheduled.

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